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All we’ve got is a photograph: Def Leppard (c. 1983), Sharpsburg
There was a time when giants walked the earth. Abbreviated to just single power words, their names are legend: Zeppelin, Priest, Dokken, Maiden, Krokus, Crüe. Burnouts, D-20 rollers, and teenage hair-farmers alike analyzed Tolkien-meets-toking mysticism, tapped and plucked modal riffage on second-hand battle axes, and armored themselves in a suburban denim-and-studs couture. Umlauts döminated every pössible occasiön. Yes, it was the very best of times.
The penance for an enviable life rich in metal mullets, keg beer consumed by a river, double bass drums, and a perpetual soreness in the neck and ringing in the ears was to pay tribute to one’s idols in the most public, lasting, and respectful way: half-assedly spray-painting their names on dimly-lit concrete walls.
Communication breakdown: Led Zepp(elin) (c. 1980), Hazelwood
This ain’t the summer of love: Blue Öyster Cult (hook and cross logo) (c. 1981), New Brighton
Existing somewhere between the cave paintings at Lascaux and ballpoint etchings committed by high school students into classroom desks and Trapper Keepers, metal/hard rock graffiti occupies a very particular place in modern…
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